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Picture Hanging Tips

If you're looking for picture hanging tips, you've come to the right place.  Over the years after creating many variations and types of contemporary wall art, I've seen a few "dos" and "don'ts" and thought I'd offer some insightful picture hanging tips to make sure you space is as stunning with your art as it should be.

Make sure the size of the wall art makes sense with the size of the wall. 
Have you ever seen a small piece of art on a huge blank wall or an oversized wall art piece on a small wall?  The imbalance of its placement completely distracts from the beauty of the artwork.  This is where custom artwork can be very handy to allow you to create a piece perfectly sized for your wall space.

Your wall art needs room to breathe. 
Do you ever wonder why most traditional artwork has matting to separate the art from the frame?  It’s to allow breathing room and gives the image more appeal, and your wall is no different.  I advise having several inches of uninterrupted padding around all sides, especially for canvas wraps.  This is unless, of course, you are deliberately grouping other artworks together, like triptych art.

Think carefully when hanging artwork over the stairs.
If you are looking to hang a single artwork on a wall with stairs, it probably makes the most sense on the landing, so you should use the height of the floor to determine the proper height.  If you have a group of pictures and you want them on the staircase, your best bet is to hang them in a cascading style, so the eye level stays consistent, depending on the stair you are on.  There’s a good video illustration of hanging groups of wall art on your staircase.

Center your art in the space…most of the time
This rule applies especially when you are hanging the art over a piece of furniture that is against the wall like a bed, couch, or dresser.  Chances are that if it is not centered over the piece of furniture, it might look odd and imbalanced.  Similarly, if you have a space, say between two windows, not centering it might make it look like a mistake.  So be sure to take out that tape measure, be precise, and make sure it’s done right.  If there is nothing immediately under the art, then you shouldn’t hesitate to put the art where it feels right.

Make sure your art is not too high over furniture.
If there's too big of a gap between your art and your couch, for example, the eye will be drawn to the gap rather than the art, so make sure not to hang your art to high over your furniture. This is one of the most common mistakes I see without a doubt.

Do you have other picture hanging tips you'd like to share?  Please feel free to do so using the comments section below.

You might also be interested in:

Essential Picture Frame Supplies
If you walk into any hardware or art store, you have a ton of options.  What should you get to hang your pictures and wall art?  This chapter explores everything you need to know about picture hardware and accessories.

How High to Hang Pictures & Wall Art
This question has been around since the beginning of time, and you'll find the answer in this chapter.

How to Hang Multiple Pictures
For a space that requires a group of pictures, you'll want to give this a quick read before you start using your hammer.


  • Elaine
    August 6, 2011 at 7:57am

    Thank you very much for your post!

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